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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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Old 06-16-2006, 12:32 AM
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Default Another horrid story involving the CAS

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...hub=TopStories
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:03 AM
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A rejoinder to the previous link

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...hub=TopStories

B.C. foster mother still cashing gov't cheques
Updated Thu. Jun. 22 2006 11:30 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The B.C. woman who is to be investigated after TV cameras revealed two foster children were living in squalid conditions at her home continues to cash government cheques, CTV News has learned.

Gaetane Jarvinen, of Victoria, is earning $1600 a month under a B.C. Ministry of Children and Families policy that allows foster parents under investigation to stay on the payroll.

After CTV aired pictures of the filthy conditions last week, the government seized the two children who lived there, shut down the home and promised to launch an investigation.

A document obtained by CTV Vancouver reveals the scope of the investigation has broadened to include the last seven years.

Many parents say they were sounding the alarm for years but no one listened.

"Whenever I made a complaint it was minimized or dismissed," said Maria Sunico, the mother of children in foster care.

The investigation will probe all past complaints, the actions of ministry social workers, and it will question why it took repeated calls before the ministry acted to launch an investigation.

But NDP Children and Family Development Critic Adrian Dix says it's inappropriate for the ministry to be investigating itself.

"This heeds to be an independent review we fought for that last fall, I think that principle's been acknowledged and I think they should follow it in this case.

The investigation hasn't yet started, CTV Vancouver's Jim Beatty reported.

"So far all the ministry has done has prepared this two-page terms of reference -- essentially it's a list of questions they want to answer," he said.

"We're supposed to have some of those answers in a draft report within six weeks but it could take weeks or even months longer before we see any recommendations."

The landlord of the home opened the doors to CTV to expose the unhygienic conditions -- which included an overwhelming stench of urine and feces and a filthy litter box inches from a refrigerator -- in a bid to have the children removed.

"I have been a landlord for 40 years and a realtor for 21, and I have seen everything -- but I have not seen this. It was so shocking, I couldn't absorb it," landlord Ray Headrick told CTV last week.

Headrick said he first noticed the stench a month and a half ago, but thought the ministry would take action.

He said he made several visits to ministry offices to alert social workers of the situation, but "nothing was done."

This isn't the first time B.C.'s child protection system has been criticized.

In April, retired B.C. judge Ted Hughes filed a report calling the system an "unstable mess" after the B.C. government admitted that 715 child deaths had not been reviewed properly.


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